Great British Bake Off Grand Final

Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry
Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry
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We’ve learned a lot of things from this series of The Great British Bake Off – in pastry week alone, we found out why Cornish pasties are surprisingly big in Mexico and what a kouign amann is.

But more than anything else, we’ve discovered that viewers really care about the results of the show.

Freezergate led to frayed tempers on social media and more than 800 complaints to the BBC.

So, why do people care so much about the programme? Mary Berry shared her theory, saying: “I think it works as a show because it is totally honest and I always think we encourage people to bake.

“We stop and explain things. I think we’re teaching in a subtle way. We stop our bakers and ask them what they’ve done.

“It works because people look at the bakers and think, ‘They’re just like my next-door neighbour, or my mum could enter that...’”

It’s been difficult to predict who will lift the trophy.

Heading into the final, builder Richard, normally seen with a pencil tucked behind one ear, seems like the one to beat after being named Star Baker five times.

However, even he hasn’t been immune to disasters - after a disappointing showing in European Cake week, he was in danger of being sent home, and was only saved by the fact that Mary and Paul couldn’t decide between him and fellow contestant Kate.

And as anyone who saw last year’s final – when Frances Quinn beat the hotly tipped Kimberly Wilson and Ruby Tandoh – will tell you, there really is still everything bake for.

As you’d expect though, it’s not going to be easy. Mary and Paul have saved some of their trickiest challenges until last, including a difficult pastry technique for the signature challenge, and a technical that will have the finalists operating without a recipe.

Ultimately though it could all come down to who turns sponge, caramel, choux pastry and petits fours into a showstopper.

Just no-one mention baked Alaskas...